The Introvert’s Guide to Joining a Party Feb21

The Introvert’s Guide to Joining a Party...

Kirito is the ultimate introvert. Trapped in the world of Sword Art Online (SAO), an immersive game in which each player’s consciousness is transferred into an RPG world, Kirito chooses to go it alone. It’s a bold decision to make because in SAO, players are unable to log out and when they die in the game, they die in real life. Most players decide to band together into parties for survival, but the naturally shy Kirito keeps to himself. He’s also an elite gamer, so any players teaming with him are likely to slow him down. Early on, he helps a new player named Klein learn the basics of the game, but when the newbie explains that he’s part of a larger group, Kirito abandons him. It would be too difficult to survive, much less complete the game, while helping that many players. A short time later, Kirito participates in a group effort in which players pair up to defeat a common enemy. He fights alongside a strong player, Asuna, but leaves her immediately afterward, despite acknowledging her talent. At this point in the game, Kirito is still focused on his individual journey, and doesn’t even consider teaming with Asuna, despite how strong their tandem could be. Though Kirito is strong, he isn’t arrogant. On the contrary, he’s trying to do the right thing and help as many people as possible. With his skill, defeating the game and releasing all the players from this purgatory is a real possibility, so why not continue to level up on his own, especially when it feels comfortable? As an introvert, I feel similarly, especially in the workplace. I used to work for a very small government agency. At first, the only employees were a part-time administrative assistant...

A Level Up in Perseverance Jul18

A Level Up in Perseverance...

Perseverance is difficult enough when it’s short term. Running a five-kilometer race, surviving an illness, applying for jobs until you finally get hired… these things take determination. But what about persevering over days, months, and years? Kirito, Asuna, and the other survivors of Sword Art Online know exactly what this feels like, having to persevere when they were trapped inside a virtual reality game for almost three years. Imprisoned by the creator of the VRMMORPG, many of the other players who logging in that fateful day couldn’t handle life away from their families, their friends, and the outside world. They had no hope the game’s 100 levels would be cleared and they would be able to return. Thousands jumped off virtual cliffs in despair, killing their bodies in the real world. Many more accepted that they would never leave the game and it became their new reality. Others let their entrapment taint their hearts and turned to destroying others to fill the void. A tough time we persevere through will level us up for trials to come. But not Kirito. Kirito was determined to return home. Though he began this herculean journey in pursuit of beating a game worthy of his skill, he grew to know other players who were determined to help each other escape the game, and he joined them in their goal. Kirito persevered through impossible battles, through losing his friends, through times of discouragement, through betrayal by his guild members, and even through near death. At one point he even considered just settling down in the game and living a life with Asuna, accepting that he’d never leave, but they both knew they had to go on. The task was daunting. Clearing 30 of the 100 levels took SAO players...

The Last Words of Konno Yuuki Feb12

The Last Words of Konno Yuuki...

Drama king. Yep, that’s me. My wife nods her head every time I apply that name to myself. I don’t try to be, it just comes naturally. Usually it involves “feeling something very strongly,” which compels me to either awkward dancing or a watering of my beard. Both of which are key to healthy hair, by the way. However, in the last hours of Sword Art Online’s second season, my occasional and modest tearing up had turned into some unstoppable torrent. The first hint of trouble to come starts when Asuna makes a new friend named Yuuki and joins her group of adventurers in Alfheim Online (ALO), a team that calls themselves The Sleeping Knights. After a stunning victory against all odds, the group announces they are disbanding, and Asuna is shocked. The news makes her recognize what she has thus far only felt: Yuuki and The Sleeping Knights have become so dear to her. Yuuki and the others give only a silent goodbye, offering no reasons for their permanent departure. Asuna, who has come to love them, can’t stand the tears she causes when she pleads for reasons why. Their sadness is incomprehensible to her. “I was born to die, so what was my reason for existing in the world?” Yuuki suspects, and rightly so, that Asuna won’t be satisfied without answers, and will search high and low for her in the real world. Maybe, just maybe, the impossible would happen and Asuna would find her. It’s all Yuuki wants and it is exactly what she is trying to stop. She doesn’t want Asuna to know why she must leave; Yuuki doesn’t want to cause Asuna pain. But Asuna’s stubbornness brings her to Yuuki’s doorstep at the hospital. It’s a surprise, though many...

Episode 7 – Sword Art Online / Casey Covel Nov17

Episode 7 – Sword Art Online / Casey Covel...

Hot off the digital press, it’s Infinity +1. This week Jason, Allison, and Kyle ask the big questions about perception and reality. They talk about their favourite music scores and why music is so important in great music and games. Make sure to give your favourite score in the comments. Then in the second segment, Jason and Allison chat with Casey Covel, one of Geekdom House’s anime and cosplay experts. They talk about what makes anime so intriguing and the value of supportive parents. Download and subscribe to Infinity +1 on iTunes...

Right now, we’re alive here Nov13

Right now, we’re alive here...

“Do you not understand? Every day we spend here is one day we’ve lost in the real world.” These are words spoken in Sword Art Online by Asuna. She is talking to Kirito, her eyes are narrowed, her hands are on her hips. Kirito is laying on his back in the quiet and calm of a green meadow. The look on his face is as serene as the digital sky above him. He knows she is right. All the players in the game are trapped inside this virtual reality. There is no logging out. There is no respawning. And dying inside Sword Art Online means you die in real life. The only chance for the thousands of players trapped inside this digital reality is to beat the game. That is what Asuna is focusing on. She has worked for months inside the game, training herself to be stronger, leading her clan deeper into the game, inching forward to the ending that promises freedom.Asuna learned from Kirito that escaping wasn’t the only important thing in Sword Art Online. Kirito himself has also worked hard to become strong but he has remained a solo player. If anyone knows the precipice these trapped players are walking, it’s him. He knows the importance of the work they are doing. Yet Asuna’s stormy outbreak doesn’t even cause him to raise an eyelid. This is one of the first encounters between Asuna and Kirito in the anime. I am immediately drawn into the scene and the meaning behind it. Here is a war of feelings I never realized I had felt myself until I saw them on display here. I have experienced both the urgency of Asuna and the peace of Kirito in my life. This moment in Sword Art...

Anime themes that rock May29

Anime themes that rock

Since May is our music-themed month, we will be regaling you with fun playlists every Friday. These are the anime theme songs that make us wish we spoke Japanese (except in the case of the Pokemon theme; we can sing along with that one, and frequently do). Pokemon It’s the very best, like no theme ever was. Attack on Titan We will keel all ze titans. Fairy Tail Yes, it’s SUPPOSED to be “tail.” Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood That armor must’ve cost Al an arm and a leg. Sword Art Online This theme reminds us we want to take sword lessons and develop...